Album Review

Reigns – “Widow Blades, The” – [Monotreme Records]

humana   3/11/2012   A Library, CD

This is an exquisite concept album as compelling in the stories behind each song as it is in the music used to express these weird, creeped-out tales. Apparently inspired by a true story of the Widow Blades, whose mysterious disappearance in a blizzard of March 1978 in the fabled location of Tone Gulley, Wessex, England, each installment in this gripping tale is weirder than the last, with several suspects who may have visited foul play upon the poor widow. Yet there are also wigged-out descriptions of hauntings by the said widow, horse murders, and how she drove some Tone Gulley inhabitants to distraction searching for her never-recovered body. Only her clothes were found, in a neat pile, with a warm meat sandwich in her pocket, despite the subzero temperatures. Piano, guitar, percussion, electronic effects, bells, male vocalizations alternately whispering, grim, echoey, and haunting combine to make the music a pleasant experience, which just intensifies the macabre juxtaposition of the tale. This is brilliant. Listen. Get lost in the horror.

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